Trails for Health Award

This award recognizes a community’s commitment to improving access to trails and promoting their use and importance for increasing physical activity.


Chinese Mountaineering Association

The Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) is a national public sports consortium comprised of volunteer groups interested in mountaineering and relevant sports individuals.

This consortium is a group member of All-China Sports Federation and also the designated organization to attend International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and other relevant international organizations in the name of China. The goal of the CMA is to manage, organize and promote the development of public outdoor sports in mountainous regions and actively push nationwide fitness activities, lead the general public to enjoy the health and happiness brought by outdoor sports.

A subsidiary to CMA, the Outdoor Sports Department promotes the construction of high-quality outdoor sports fields and devoted itself to organizing public outdoor sports and fitness. In 2009, after concentrated research, Dr. Zhang Zhijian, director of outdoor sports department in CMA, originally proposed to construct China's own national trails system and led outdoor sports department to direct and support Mountain Journey (China) Co., Ltd (MJC) to construct the first national mountaineering fitness trail in Ninghai County in Ningbo City of Zhejiang Province.

After the construction, based on continuous study and research, he formulated "China National Standards for Mountaineering Fitness Trail Construction," which is the first national standards in terms of outdoor sports field construction and applied nationally. NTS National Standards’ takes science, regulation, safety and environmental protection as the core.

Outdoor Sports Department of CMA with trail certification plaque.

Outdoor Sports Department of CMA with trail certification plaque.

During construction of trails, the "ecological engineering" method is in the top priority, attaching great importance to environmental protection and minimizing the impact on nature. For several years, outdoor sports department of CMA has continuously promoted the comprehensive construction of national trails and national outdoor sports field in China. Since Aug. 2010, the department has authorized construction of 11 NTS and assigned professionals to audit and check these projects.

The department certified "national mountaineering fitness trail" qualification to seven finished projects. The remaining four NTS are going to be finished in the near future and will be checked by outdoor sports department of CMA. It is estimated that by the end of 2012, 11 NTS, which are 1000 kilometers in total length, will be put in use for serving the Chinese public.

Not only carefully control the designing, planning and construction of trails, outdoor sports department of CMA also formulates detailed trails application and promotion plans to increase usage of trails and enhance the importance of trails in general public fitness activities. Among 11 trails, they choose several outstanding NTS in Ninghai, Wenzhou and Xiahuayuan as paragons of NTS projects for national promotion.

Taking the NTS in Daluoshan Mountain of Wenzhou City as an example, this trail is constructed in Wenzhou City of Zhejiang Province with 100 Kilometers in length, neighboring the metropolitan areas of Shanghai, Ningbo, and Hangzhou. The population of permanent residents of Wenzhou is 10 million and NTS in Daluoshan Mountain provides an attractive leisure and fitness place for these residents. In every morning and evening, more than three thousands people hike on the trail and more and more persons will be on the trail in holidays.

Running event on the National Trail System

Running event on the National Trail System

It also should be noted that outdoor sports department of CMA opens all NTS to the public in free of charge while nearly all other scenic spots are not. Besides necessary accessorial facilities for trails, signage systems have also been established along the roads from cities to NTS, which are convenient for people to reach NTS.

Outdoor Sports Department of CMA actively negotiates with local governments to promote NTS. Editing and writing special report on NTS in China for the magazine "Outdoor China" and releasing nationally. Other efforts include organizing large scale public activities, including mountaineering, camping, hiking, mountaineering, and cross-country running matches, which have won NTS more and more recognition and high usage. By now, trails have become the most commonly-used leisure fitness field for local residents and many trails with beautiful scenery have also been chosen by the outdoor activities fans as tourism spots for holidays. In many places, trails attract thousands of tourists and outdoor activities fans, which increase economic benefits in local tourism, service, catering and retail industry. This phenomenon is vividly evaluated by domestic economists as trail economy. Consequently, NTS in China has climbed to a new height of innovation and integration of outdoor sports and tourism industry. It also has created very high social value.

By treating it as great cause for well-being of general public, Outdoor Sports Department of CMA has devoted all enthusiasm and wisdom she has to NTS construction and application. Outdoor Sports Department of CMA advocates healthy life-style and constructs regulated mountaineering fitness paths for the mass, pushes trail-based scientific research and construction, assists local governments to create well-being for people and realizes prosperous development of trails in China.

In the future, Outdoor Sports Department of CMA will continuously extend her vision and actively study from other trails organizations in the world to unremittingly improve the quality of NTS in China.